Thursday morning I recognized two things: I need to make a plan, and I’m not a very good planner when it comes to my personal life.
I had this mini-epiphany as I was getting ready to go to work—at 11 a.m. I had spent most of the morning in bed, not sleeping as much as just lying there trying to figure out what to do with my day.
It was the last day of my pay week. I had already worked 31.5 hours. I’m working a new 32-hours-a-week schedule.
But I had a court hearing to cover at 3 p.m. And I needed to try to set up an interview for a story I’m working on.
Because of this combination, I couldn’t decide when to go into work, how many hours to work, and how to spend my time before work.
Having a plan would have helped.
Over the years, I’ve developed certain habits as I’ve dealt with OCD and depression. Some of those habits influence how I plan my time.
OCD is very restrictive. It tries to dictate how you do things and when you do things.
When I started getting treatment for OCD, I was glad to begin to be free from many of the restrictions. I started to avoid adhering to a strict schedule when I didn’t absolutely have to. Too much of a schedule can feel like OCD.
Also, I made many plans over the years that got interrupted by OCD rituals like checking. I disappointed myself and others many times by being late for something or not finishing something because I was taken up in an OCD storm.
Unfortunately, I translated that into the habit of not making plans so I wouldn’t disappoint myself or anyone else.
Having depression also influences me. When I’m in a depression slump, planning a day seems to be useless when there’s nothing I want to do. Planning for the future is too difficult when I can’t look forward to anything.
OCD and depression have influenced me, but I know that I can’t stop there.
I’m responsible for how I spend my time, and I’m responsible for my habits. I’ll have to rise above the influences of OCD and depression.
Having a plan for how many hours I’ll work a day and for the time I’m not at work will help me get out of some of those bad habits I’ve developed.
Here’s what I will do:
*Figure out a schedule a week at a time.
*Use my calendar of work tasks to figure out how many hours a day I’ll need to work.
*Make a list of things I want to accomplish each day.
*Include in my lists chores and errands I need to take care of.
*Block off times to do the things that I value the most.
*Develop the habit of getting up early every day.
How much of a planner are you? Do you plan out your day, week, or month? Do you have any suggestions for those who have trouble coming up with a plan?